Starbucks Fails to Impress Investors With Earnings Beat

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Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) reported its fiscal first quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday. The coffee giant had $0.46 in earnings per share (EPS) on $5.37 billion in revenue compared to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $0.45 in EPS on $5.39 billion in revenue. The same period from the previous year had $0.40 in EPS on $4.80 billion in revenue.

Looking at comparable sales, global sales increased by 8%, which included a 4% increase in traffic. Americas comparable sales increased by 9%, China and Asia Pacific comparable sales increased by 5%, and EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa) comparable sales increased by 1%.

Starbucks opened 528 net new stores in the quarter globally, including a record 281 stores in China/Asia Pacific and a record 79 stores in EMEA.

There was a record $1.9 billion loaded on Starbucks Cards in the U.S. and Canada. Also membership in the My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program increased 23%. The company now has over 11 million active members in the U.S.

In terms of guidance, Starbucks expects to open 1,800 net new stores in this fiscal year: 700 in the Americas, 9,000 in China/Asia Pacific, and 200 in EMEA. For the fiscal second quarter, the company expects EPS in the range of $0.38 to $0.39 compared to the consensus estimate of $0.40 EPS.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks Chairman and CEO, commented on earnings:

Starbucks’ record Q1 2016 financial and operating results, highlighted by comp sales increases of 9% in the U.S., 8% globally, another 4% increase in global traffic – and record performance from our Channel Development segment – underscore the accelerating strength and relevance of the Starbucks brand around the world. Successful retail, CPG, digital, mobile, loyalty, card and investment strategies are combining to accelerate our revenue growth and drive significant margin expansion and EPS leverage.

Scott Maw, Starbucks CFO, added:

We’ve entered fiscal 2016 with another record-breaking quarter and a continuation of the accelerating momentum we saw in our business throughout 2015. The investments we are making in our people and our business are driving record, industry leading operating and financial performance and consistently strong comp growth, and are both paying off today and setting us up for continued strong performance into the future.

Shares of Starbucks closed Thursday up 3.6% at $58.97, with a consensus analyst price target of $68.09 and a 52-week trading range of $40.45 to $64.00. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was initially down 4% at $56.70 in the after-hours trading session.